“I contain multitudes…”

“In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. Whenever you feel like criticising any one, he told me, just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”

F Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby


My name is David Sharkey and I am a teacher, coach and sometimes writer. I am the  Head of English at Shiplake College, an independent school in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, UK. Alongside English, History is a real passion of mine as I read both subjects at University College Dublin before training as a teacher in King’s College London.

I believe that ‘The Great Gatsby’ has the best combination of opening and closing lines. If you have a better suggestion, please do let me know.

I have worked in Ireland, Clongowes Wood College and Australia, St Joseph’s College, Sydney in teaching, pastoral and coaching roles. Upon my completion of my PGCE at King’s College, I spent three years in Holland Park School, London, a state comprehensive, where I worked as Assistant Head of English for the last two years I was there.

Coaching has been a huge passion of mine having been involved in teams from ages 8-18 and in schools. While rugby is my main passion, I coach football which is hugely rewarding as well as challenging. In terms of rugby, this season I have the privilege of taking the U16s at Shiplake College. They are a fantastic group of young men and I am really looking forward to the season, having already coached them last year.

Whilst undertaking my RFU Level 3 coaching qualification throughout the year, I have also looked to start a project that I am passionate about exploring: masculinity in rugby cultures. This is something that I feel strongly needs addressing and one I hope to document throughout the year.

If you would like to get in touch, please feel free to do so via any of the formats below:

  • Email: dsharkey@shiplake.org.uk
  • Twitter: @teachingsharks

“Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us.  It eluded us then, but that’s no matter – tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms further… So we beat on, boats against the current, born back ceaselessly into the past.”

F Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

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